Profs. Steven Cohen and Ari Kelman recently published a study describing American Jews' attachment to (or alienation from) Israel, measured by various metrics. Not surprisingly, the study found that young Jews were less attached to Israel than are older Jews. (This is not surprising for a variety of reasons, including that young Jews are less likely to have close relatives in Israel; have no personal recollection of the Holocaust or the collective Jewish trauma of the pre-Six Day War period, when many thought that Israel's existence was in jeopardy; tend to be less involved in Jewish communal organizations than older Jews; are more likely to have a non-Jewish parent, and thus feel less ethnically tied to other Jews; and have grown up at a time when Israel has been the "overdog," not the underdog.)
More surprising is that the attachment of Jews to Israel is largely uncorrelated with political party or political ideology. The original study didn't have much data in this regard, so I emailed Prof. Cohen and asked him for more data, which he both produced and gave me permission to reproduce here. One caveat is that these data are only for non-Orthodox Jews; however Orthodox Jews constituted only 7% of the sample.
|Age: 4 groups||Political viewpoint||Political party identification||Mean||N|
Given these statistics, the prevalent notion that "right-wing Jews" are dominating American Jewish organizations' Israel policy seems almost farcical. Given that liberal Jews are as attached to Israel as conservative Jews, and that there are a lot more liberal Jews than conservative Jews, it's highly unlikely that the right-wingers are in control almost anywhere.
Comment away below.
UPDATE: I almost forgot, Prof. Cohen cautions that any individual finding based on an N of less than 40 should not be deemed reliable.